HHS Proposes Changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule

On May 31, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Proposed Rule) to amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The Proposed Rule would revise the current requirements that covered entities provide consumers with an accounting for disclosures of protected health information and add a new requirement that covered entities provide consumers with “access reports” detailing who has accessed protected health information about the individual in an electronic designated record set. The Proposed Rule is based on Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act requirements as well as the general authority of HHS to issue the HIPAA privacy rules. The deadline for submitting public comments regarding the Proposed Rule is August 1, 2011.

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